Antonio Brown calls Tom Brady ‘his friend,’ rips Bruce Arians in podcast appearance

Why does Antonio Brown believe he and Tom Brady are friends? "Because I’m a good football player. He needs me to play football.”

Antonio Brown Tom Brady
Antonio Brown (left) and Tom Brady during a game in Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Whether you’re talking about 2019 or 2021, Tom Brady hasn’t been shy about pushing to have Antonio Brown on his football team.

As surprising as that may seem to those who watched Brown force his way off the then-Oakland Raiders, fail to last two weeks with the Patriots amid sexual assault allegations or implode with Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Brown’s second year with the team, Brown says the reason for Brady’s support is simple.

The ultimate winner in football history just wants to win, and he believed the mercurial receiver would help him do that.

Brown went so far as to call Brady a “friend” on Friday’s episode of “The Full Send Podcast,” in which Brown talked about his tumultuous departure from the Bucs.


“To me, a friend is someone who’s got your back,” Brown said. “Not everybody in sports is going to be your friend. Tom Brady’s my friend why? Because I’m a good football player. He needs me to play football.”

Brown also reportedly asserted Brady is the de facto general manager in Tampa Bay and that the receiver’s agent essentially negotiated his contract with Brady: “He’s the middleman and the politician.”

The former Patriots’ great and seven-time Super Bowl champion campaigned hard for Brown to join the team despite reluctance from Arians, who once coached the receiver in Pittsburgh. Brady even said he’d “take all the heat” for the controversy of Brown’s signing, according to the new book “A Season in the Sun” by Lars Anderson that chronicled the 2020-21 Buccaneers.

Arians eventually relented but warned Brown the team wouldn’t tolerate any of the behavior he exhibited in Pittsburgh or Oakland.

That proclamation came to fulfillment last Sunday after Brown removed his shoulder pads and threw his equipment into the stands before exiting the field as his team was still trying to come back against the New York Jets.

Brown has said the team demanded he play hurt despite knowing he wasn’t healthy enough to perform and that he refused to do so. Arians claimed Brown didn’t want to play because he wasn’t getting enough targets on offense, not because of injury.

The receiver maintained his side of the story on the podcast and tore into his former coach.


“Imagine the guy who you think has your back, who you flew here with to do a mission, and they know your situation, and you get there and you’re battling with him, he tells you to get the f–k out of there?” Brown said. “I’m an alpha male. If you discriminate on my public image and my name, at that point it’s f–k you too professionally.”

Of course, Brady hasn’t fully escaped Brown’s wrath since the receiver left the team. Brown has publicly gone after Alex Guerrero, Brady’s longtime trainer and TB-12 brand partner, and released texts showing he demanded a refund from Guerrero after being dissatisfied with the latter’s training methods.

Now a free agent, Brown did share his desire to continue to play football.

“It’s my passion. It’s what I do,” Brown said. “Every year is a fresh start, a new year. I still like to get in shape. I still like to compete. I’m just getting started.”


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